When marketing to college students, what should you consider? Why are college students a good target market?
Businesses have targeted college students for a long time. New entrants into the desirable 18 to 30 age group haven’t formed brand loyalties yet. It means that if your business can connect with this target audience, you stand a chance at continuing to communicate with that group of people for many years to come as they graduate, begin careers, start families, and retire.
This past year 2020, was one of the toughest on record, from a global pandemic to political demonstrations in many countries. Brands, universities, and student employers are developing new strategies for college student marketing as stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines come into play.
So if your product or service targets students at college campuses, you need to start tweaking your marketing strategies.
What is Student Marketing?
According to Wikipedia, student marketing refers to promoting products, brands and ideas to the higher education student population. We realise student marketing through student media or ambient marketing on campuses.
Why College Student Marketing?
For years, advertisers have targeted college students. As new entrants into the Millenial and Generation Z demographic, these young minds are open to persuasion to become your student ambassadors and brand advocates.
But how can you compete with big brands out there who are targeting the same audience? The college student demographic can be tricky to market to, but we will explore ten tips that can help you market to the college student demographic in this article.
What Is the Best Way to Advertise to College Students?
While they are growing older and wiser, they are still highly interested in pop culture and trendy fads. The relationship between their age and interest is a unique blend you must carefully cater to when designing your website or social media campaigns.
Here are some tips for marketing your website to college students. So if you target your website at college students, then I encourage you to pay attention. The following ten tips will help you draw in the college crowd to your business.Social media is how college students communicate with their friends and family and keep up with current events and trends. Click To Tweet
Offer a Product or Service That Offers Quality, Classiness and Affordability.
The only “class” in a college student’s life involves lecturing…well, somewhat: Let’s face the facts; regarding money, many college students aren’t classy folk. They can’t afford extra luxuries, so whatever you are marketing to them must be affordable (if not free). However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in style and sophistication. They are usually very interested in these things, so look to marketing a product or service that offers classiness at an affordable price. The college demographic has limited funds. So if you can offer a product or service that fits their low budget, your business will be an instant success with college students.
Create an Informative and Entertaining Video.
The video-sharing websites YouTube and Netflix have become staples of student entertainment since cable TV can be expensive. Business owners should create short videos that can attract students to their websites. An informative and entertaining video is an effective tool for communicate with college students. Create how-to videos on topics that interest college students, e.g. college experience, dorm life, tips for students with a physical disability, cognitive disability, or visual impairment. You could also provide information on how to study for and pass exams or survive on a shoestring allowance, campus activity, etc., and tie it into your product or service.
Opportunities to Speak and Sponsor Campus Events.
In addition, students aspiring to be business owners in the future will highly value your entrepreneurship expertise. So try speaking to college students or participating in special events, and presenting gifts at local colleges. It will allow you to talk about your product while you’re there.
Trends are Highly Relevant.
If you want to remain relevant, your web design and content must stay trendy. This emphasis on trends means keeping up with current fashions, music, movies, television shows, etc. Like teenagers, college students are still wrapped up in popular culture and spend a lot of time learning about the newest of everything, so if your website doesn’t seem like a “happening” place, you may lose your following. One crucial caveat, however; college students are usually interested in a different popular culture.
Word of Mouth (WOM).
Word of mouth (WOM) is a powerful tool among students on the college campus. Search for influencers amongst the student body to promote your product/service or student discount to their circle of friends, social clubs and student organisations on campuses. Also, you can give away free samples of your products or services for promotions.Business owners should create short videos that can attract and engage students. Click To Tweet
Give Them the Best
This age group has been using the internet since they were born, so they expect a certain level of sophistication with websites. They are often more technologically educated than previous generations would expect, and that is because they have so much experience using computers and the internet. Unlike the generations before them, most college students today know the difference between a secure website and an unsecured one. They also know how to spot a poorly managed site and are pickier with website design, content, and page speed. This knowledge means you can forget about selling your “below market” textbooks on a cheaply designed site with no credit card security. They won’t fall for it.
Are there any campus newspapers, magazines or radio stations? A substantial number of students may enjoy these media sources. Invest in ads in a college paper, magazine or radio ads to reach your target market. Many students are thrifty and love to get the best bang for their buck. So let your adverts in traditional media offer discounts to college students to encourage them to patronise your business. This tip works great if you’re in the food and entertainment business.
Social Media Is Key to Your Marketing Practice.
College students spend a lot of time on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook and Pinterest. Advertising on these social media platforms will help you to reach students who love using social media.
Social media is how college students communicate with their friends and family and keep up with current events and trends. If your business’ website doesn’t have a presence on one or more social media platforms, you are losing out on a ton of free social media marketing opportunities. Create social media profiles for your business today, and place links to them on your homepage to encourage a following.
Are you worried about what type of content to post on social media? Don’t worry! Let your audience provide the bulk of your content. Focus on user-generated content that appeals to Generation Z.
Host a Contest for College Students.
Have you ever considered hosting a contest for students on campus? Would you mind taking advantage of your social media channels and asking students to create straightforward, light-hearted user-generated content or humorous content?
For example, you can have students tweet or post pictures of themselves using your products and include your brand hashtags. It wouldn’t hurt to ask them to join your list as well! It is a great way to get new leads of potential customers.
“Back to School” Swag
The “back to school” season is ideal for putting together a branded “welcome pack” for new students on campuses. Your “welcome pack” can comprise tips on living away from home, adjusting to campus life, branded stationery or toiletries. This type of swag will help your brand score massive points with the student population. You can even include gift cards and discount cards to redeem at stores and entertainment spots on campus.Search for influencers amongst the student body to promote your product/service or student discount to their circle of friends, etc., on campuses. Click To Tweet
Why Are College Students a Good Target Market?
College students make such excellent targets because they are young adults who are still learning. As long as you provide quality services and products, this generation will always return for more.
They are easy to approach since they usually hang around campus during lunch hours, after classes, and go off to study halls. These times are ideal for reaching them and getting them interested in your product or service.
Students are very loyal to brands because they know they need to save money while studying. So, by offering them deals and special offers, they’ll remember you next time they want something similar.Focus on user-generated content that appeals to Millenials and Generation Z. Click To Tweet
If you offer an exclusive deal to only those students who follow you on social media, then you’ve got yourself a winner. By targeting students through social media, you can quickly gain followers and increase engagement rates.
Do you need help with your marketing effort to college students? Schedule a consultation session. Let’s explore options on making your brand a hit with college students and groom them into future customers.
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